7 must-have items for when you learn how to sew

sewing machine project

Like any craft, sewing requires that you have a few basic foundational items when you first start out. This can, of course, be expanded on to accommodate new techniques and tools, but your everyday items are often still the most important. Here are some essentials, recommended by Empisal, makers of the EMPISAL CREATIONS SEWING MACHINE for beginners.

  1. The right sewing machine: There are a huge range of machines out there, and beginners require something that is reliable, affordable and easy to use. Look for a good quality brand that is within your budget, that offer the right beginners stitches, accessories and sewing feet for the projects you are interested in.
  2. Fabric scissors: These shears are designed specifically for cleanly cutting through fabric and should never be used on anything else or they will get blunt. Large shears are ideal for bigger pieces of fabric, but it’s a good idea to have a second, smaller pair for close work.
  3. Seam ripper: Even the pros mess up a seam now and then, so this tool is a life-saver that will last through all your projects as you build up your skills. Unlike scissors, this tool helps you rip through seams without damaging material.
  4. Soft tape measure: Ideal for any project, especially clothing, a soft tape measure is essential for getting the right measurements around curves and shapes.
  5. Good quality needles: Your sewing machine will be working hard even on simple projects, and that needle needs to be able to stand up to it else you’ll be dealing with skipped stitches and broken needles all the time. We recommend Schmetz needles, as they are very high-quality and durable, and come in a wide range suited to different materials and projects.
  6. Pins and pin cushion: You’ll need plenty of pins to plan out your project, and a pin cushion will keep them both easily available and safely out of the way. You can even get pin cushions that attach at the wrist for even easier access while pinning a pattern or gathering a skirt hem.
  7. Fabric marker: While pins are useful, fabric markers are often a better bet for certain jobs, like marking out a pattern or a seam line.

Find the perfect sewing machine and equipment with Empisal

At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines,  overlockers, steam presses and ironing equipment to South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa for over 35 years.

Whether you’re learning to sew or a professional, Empisal has the right sewing machine for you. With the EMPISAL CREATIONS SEWING MACHINE, you’ll be able to take on new projects with ease and get the most out of your sewing skills.

For more information on our sewing machines and products, please contact us today.

Common sewing machine problems and how to fix them

Sewing machine

Sewing machines, like any equipment, can run into problems on occasion. Here are some of the most common sewing machine issues and how to solve them, from Empisal – the makers of the EMPISAL EES 50 SEWING MACHINE

  • Thread bunching: Also known as ‘bird nesting’ because of its resemblance to a messy bird nest, this can result from a number of issues. Luckily, regardless of the cause, it is simple to sort out. Just re-thread your machine using the manual as reference and ensuring that the take up lever is in the HIGHEST  position. Then check the position of your bobbin case and reset if necessary.
  • Thread breakage: Threads can snap if the machine is incorrectly threaded, or if your thread is not suitable to the project or being used in a sewing machine (for example, hand sewing thread). It’s always best to use high-quality threads and, if it is breaking, to re-thread your machine using the manual for reference.
  • Skipping stitches: This usually results from problems with your sewing machine needle. Check it to see if it is bent or blunt, and replace if needed. When sewing, always make sure you are allowing the feed dog to feed the fabric into the machine, as forcing it can easily bend the needle. Also, always use a high-quality needle to ensure the best results – we recommend Schmetz, who have a wide range of needles suited to different fabrics and techniques.
  • Still having problems? If you have tried these solutions and are still having problems with your sewing machine, you may need to have it professionally cleaned and serviced. Sewing machines require annual services in order to keep producing high-quality results, and wear-and-tear, debris build-up and other issues can compromise your project and damage your machine.

Reliable, affordable sewing machines and equipment from Empisal

At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines, overlockers, steam presses and ironing equipment to South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa for over 35 years.

Whether you’re learning to sew or a professional, Empisal has the right sewing machine for you. With the EMPISAL EES 50 SEWING MACHINE, you’ll be able to take on new sewing projects with ease and get the most out of your sewing skills.

For more information on our sewing machines and products, please contact us today.